When the subject of climate change is raised
When the subject of climate change is raised, people tend to think of extreme heat events, droughts, violent storms, rising sea levels, and floods. Today, we certainly live in an era of severe weather events, which will intensify if human-driven climate change continues unabated. Such events are known to exert a great physical toll on people worldwide through injury, displacement, and death. However, little attention has been paid to the psychological impacts that widespread changes in climatic conditions can cause. On March 29, a by the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica was released on this 3-Methyladenine subject. The report proposes that the worsening state of the environment is causing a sense of stress—so-called ecoanxiety—that influences the way people interact in their communities. The report calls for more to be done to mitigate climate change\'s effect on mental health.
Changes in climate can influence psychological states through different mechanisms. An extreme weather event can be a source of acute shock. For example, following individual disasters such as a hurricane or a mass flooding, psychological well-being of local populations can be severely and rapidly affected. Incidence of suicide and suicidal ideation increased following Hurricane Katrina in the USA in 2005: one in six people in affected areas developed post-traumatic stress disorder and 49% developed anxiety and depression. The mechanisms of these disturbances can also be more insidious. The report highlights that gradual effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and changes in the pattern of temperature, are responsible for chronic psychological outcomes. Drought, for example, has been associated with psychological distress, with in Australia having increased rates of suicide during prolonged periods of drought. Increasing levels of PM are also thought to increase symptoms of anxiety in an exposure-dependent manner.
Furthermore, the impacts of climate change are not distributed equally. People who live in areas that are prone to climate change-related risks, such as indigenous or low-income groups, children and people with disabilities or chronic illness are most vulnerable to weather-related changes. For example, the negative effects of climate change might exacerbate malnutrition and poverty, and each of these can represent independent risk factors for depression in young people. In a Comment published in this issue of Haris Majeed and Jonathan Lee cite multiple studies from North America and Australia advancing the notion that climate change can influence the onset of depression in young individuals.
is principally a primate malaria parasite that affects long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, transmitted by the exophagic group. Robert Knowles and Das Gupta provided the first extensive description of the parasite, including the ability of this primate malaria to infect humans in 1932. Soon after, was used to infect patients with neurosyphilis to ameliorate symptoms in the pre-antibiotic era, but clinicians soon stopped using it when it became too pathogenic. In recent years has emerged as an important human pathogen and now poses a substantial challenge to malaria elimination in the Asia Pacific Region. This is especially the case in Malaysia, where has become the predominant cause of human malaria, but is also likely to impact on elimination efforts in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. This threat to elimination is largely due to the large parasite reservoir that infected macaques provide for ongoing transmission and the challenges that this poses in the prevention of sporadic human infection. Accurately quantifying this risk has been challenging for various reasons. Among these is the lack of adequate diagnostics. The light microscopy appearance of is indistinguishable from and is frequently confused with and . There are no -specific antigen detection rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and those with pan-malaria antigen detection suffer from low sensitivity, low specificity, and cross-reactivity with other species. Indeed, PCR remains the most reliable way to diagnose malaria with high sensitivity and specificity, although there are reports of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) being used. Poor diagnostics partly contribute to inadequate surveillance for infection and calls have been made to include specific reporting to WHO to encourage improved regional surveillance.